We began a new series this week called "Don't Speak: Taking Control of Your Deadliest Weapon". Over the course of this series we will look at different subjects relating to the tongue, our speech, words we use, and what the Bible says about each. I believe that many times we don't realize how powerful a weapon we carry with our tongue. Words can build up or tear down, praise or reject, show love or show hate. Our words can either do great things or terrible things. Some famous sayings about words are: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names/words will never hurt me" (which we know is totally inaccurate); "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all"; "Think before you speak".
Matthew 12:36 speaks of the importance of every word we say. It should scare us all and make us aware of what we say knowing the fact that we will be held accountable for every careless word on the day of judgment. I know that over my life there are many words I have spoken that I wish I could take back, but the truth is I can't. What I can do is seek to not fall in this area.
James 3:3-10 tells us that the tongue is a fire that can spread. Just as a ship is steered by a small rudder, our tongue is a small part of the body but can do great things. Both blessings and curses come from the same mouth. James says that this should not be so! We alone can not tame our tongue but with God we know that all things are possible!
The specified focus of the night was complaining. I'm not sure we realize how often we complain. I'm not sure if we even believe that some of the things we say are an actual complaint. I definitely feel this way by working with students where they think they are just making a statement but instead it is a complaint. Philippians 2:14-15 tells us to do everything without complaining, not just some things. This is one of the best ways to be a witness and light in this dark world.
We ended the night with a challenge. I gave everyone a rubber band, just like ones we have used in the past to designate prayer partners. We each put the rubber band on our left wrist. When we make a complaint we move it to the right wrist, then back, and so on. The first goal was to go the rest of the evening without complaining. Then over the next week to be conscious of everything we say, attempting to complain as little as possible. Hopefully until the point of no complaining! I know that for myself I did not make the entire evening. I made a total of 4 complaints, 2 of which came from playing a game of HORSE.
One final note, there will be a video to go with each of the message. After requests and finding a way to bring them back, here is another series with Superman & Batman. Enjoy!